Saskatoon housing options still exist for first-timers: Remax

Remax Press Release – Kelowna, BC (April 22, 2008)

“While higher housing values and tight inventory levels have hampered home-buying activity so far this year, longer amortization periods and alternative housing types have offset the impact on most major markets across the country, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.”

“Despite a higher degree of frustration in the marketplace than in previous years, the RE/MAX Affordability Report found that first-time buyers, in particular, remain steadfast in their determination to purchase a home. In fact, entry-level purchasers are adjusting their expectations by sacrificing size, location, and even long-term financial freedom, to overcome challenges such as rising prices and serious supply issues. Innovative financing has become key to homeownership in today’s environment – with longer amortization periods gaining favour in 62 per cent of the major centres surveyed. Low or no down payments were popular with first-time buyers in 38 per cent of markets.”

In Saskatoon, the report indicates “A two-bedroom, 900 square foot bungalow in good condition can be purchased from $200,000 in areas such as Confederation Park, Fairhaven, Meadowgreen, Mayfair and Westmount. The least expensive home sold in the city to date was a 535 square foot bungalow which traded hands for $80,000.”

Remax Saskatoon agent, Ivan Toledo told Star Phoenix Business Editor Murray Lyons that “people looking for affordability are discovering neighbourhoods such as King George and Westmount, where some existing houses are for sale and Toledo is working with two different builders on in-fill projects, building semi-detached, two-storey houses.”

“They will buy a little drug house or whatever on a 50-foot lot, knock it down, subdivide it and put up new construction,” Toledo said. “We have the lowest cost new construction in Saskatoon.

“It’s basically a Stonebridge (style) house and if Stonebridge is selling for $360,000, we’re selling ours at $270,000.”

Read to Remax Affordabilty Study 2008 here.

Read the Star Phoenix story here.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Average selling price of a Canadian home up 264% over 25 years

Average selling price of a home in Canada up 264%

The average selling price of a Canadian home has appreciated 264 percent over the last 25 years, according to a new study.

That amounts to an annual increase of 5.3 percent, not bad given the fact that a home is an “investment” which brings the added benefit of shelter to owners. Of course, value gains on principle residences in Canada are tax exempt making a home that much more attractive as an investment.

The study, just released by Remax Real Estate examined increases in the average selling price of a home in 17 housing markets across Canada, including Saskatoon.

Lately it seems that everyone is talking about the heat of the Saskatoon real estate market so you may be surprised to see that Saskatoon showed the second smallest increase (148%) of all of the markets surveyed. This doesn’t strike me as a huge surprise. Over the long-term, Saskatoon has pretty much always shown slower growth than most other Canadian markets. Typically, we’re accustomed to gains in the range of 3 to 4 percent but that trend has started to change in recent years. In 2005, prices increased 9 percent. In 2006, the average price of a Saskatoon home rose 11%. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, our current levels of low inventory and high demand could, and probably will bring increases which exceed those in 2007.

So what’s changing in this area? First of all, our whole provincial economy looks entirely different than it did 10 years ago when Saskatchewan was largely dependent on agriculture.

Today, we are quickly becoming a leader in natural resources with heavier production in oil and uranium. Some believe that diamonds will be the next big thing for Saskatchewan if Shore Gold continues to pull stones like they have been lately. Science has also played a pretty significant role in the Saskatchewan economy over the past five years. 15 years ago, our children had to leave Saskatchewan to find work. Today, a multitude of jobs and affordable housing is luring them back home.

My money says that we’ll see Saskatoon playing catch up with the rest of the country over the next few years.

See a Google map displaying the boundaries of Saskatoon real estate “areas” here
Data collection and calculation for our statistical reports

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate